My single status came to me through divorce. Rick’s came through the loss of a spouse. He had been in a 30 year relationship when he became single. I had two “completed” marriages, one 20 year relationship and one for 14 years. Funny how life doesn’t always turn out the way you planned. Rick and I met online. Perhaps that sounds a little strange to some. For me, I looked at it in a practical manner. I did not want to go out on a “hunt” at bars or churches or social events. I figured I would let the computer tell me if I was compatible with someone and then from that list I would choose who I wanted to date. It seemed logical to me. I also felt like at this stage of life I did not want to take a couple of years to find out if I was compatible with someone or not! So I enrolled in an online dating service.

Rick found his dates at church or by “referral”. After much frustration and heartache he had quite an awakening through a spiritual experience where he heard these words: “Are you done yet?” Lying on the floor, crying out to God he relinquished. “Yes, I am done. Let’s do things your way”. He was urged by a family member to venture into the online dating community. He followed that advice and the rest is history! Rick says he always dreamt of the woman he saw in my online profile. He knew I was the one. I think that sounds a little dramatic, but he swears it is true.

I was sitting on my bed with my computer when I went online to check my “matches” from the dating website. When I pulled up Rick’s profile, my heart fluttered. He sure was cute. As I read about him I could tell he was an extraordinary man. Wow, he seemed to have everything that I was looking for. I picked up my laptop and went into the living room where my roommate was. “Nancy,” I said, “if this guy is everything he says he is, then that’s my husband!”

For us, our very first impression came through a dating profile page with pictures and self-descriptions. We both had the advantage of knowing how to present our best self. Who you present yourself to be must be who you really are. The secret is found in your own fingerprint. That can be a little tricky when you are describing yourself. It is good to solicit some honest feedback when it comes to first impressions. Our next impression was via email. That can be challenging as well because words in writing can be interpreted differently depending on the mood or frame of mind of the receiver. Rick is a great writer and I loved his written communication. Our third impression, a vocal impression is when our relationship really began to grow. Hearing Rick’s voice over the phone connected me to him on a different level. I was certainly impressed with this man!

Then the day came when we met face to face. This was it! I was about to actually see the man in person that I had grown so fond of. I will never forget stepping out of my door to greet him as he walked toward me on the porch. I was excited and a little nervous. Oh no! I looked down and couldn’t believe my eyes. He showed up for our first date wearing tennis shoes! I was mortified.

Every manner in which we expose ourselves to each other brings another first impression. Rick and I had an online visual, online writing, phone, and then face to face first impression. Now we laugh about the tennis shoes. Had that been our first encounter I most likely would have scratched him off my list. Not that I have anything against tennis shoes. I think they are great for the gym, but I am not really attracted to guys who show up in tennis shoes on a first date. Shallow? Perhaps, but I know myself. I love shoes. I pay attention to shoes and love a guy who pays attention too! Rick knew we were going to be doing a lot of walking, so he was just taking care of himself. He didn’t think anything about it. He had already made a great impression on me so thank goodness we made it through the vivid imprint in my mind of black Nike tennis shoes!

Making a great first impression does not mean you must adjust every behavior to another person’s wishes. However, it is really important to be aware of how your behavior affects others if you are to make your best impression. I love the beach and have no issue wearing a bathing suit while enjoying the sand and surf. However, I would not wear that bathing suit to a formal dinner. There is a time and place for everything and there are protocols that apply. Think about it. Why do you dress up for a job interview? You want to be your best. Being your best does not take away from your authenticity. It enhances who you are for that moment in that space and time. It does not mean you are being phony when you match your dress to the occasion. Being yourself is your personal advantage. There is only one you. Herein lies the secret.

Rick and I both learned valuable lessons from our first impressions. I learned to relax and let him be who he is and he learned that an image consultant is not a bad idea. We laugh a lot. We cry together. We love much. Rick and I are two strong leaders living in the same household. We both enjoy growing intellectually and spiritually together. We are best friends. I love him more every day and he says that I am the light of his life. And just think … it all began in 5 seconds.

May it be like this forever …


Want to find love again?

I can help… but You must Take Action! I can show you how, but I can’t do it for you. If you are serious and want love in your life… take time to prepare yourself. We found love and you can too!

Go to: and get our First Impression Advantage for Dating Program. It is fun, enlightening, affordable… and it works!

You will be SO glad you did!

Scratch – it’s an interesting word.

I know when my life fell apart … the first time … I had 8 kids. I was left scratching my head.

Scratch – You know the feeling when you have that little itch that is ridiculously irritating? It consumes your mind until that blessed moment when you finally get a chance to SCRATCH it!  Scratching can feel really good!

Speaking of scratch …

Sometimes I have to do just that – SCRATCH my plans and ideas. Things didn’t go as I planned or anticipated. OK, scratch it! Strike that idea out! Let’s start over again … from scratch.

Here are some definitions I found for the word SCRATCH:



  • To use the nails or claws for tearing or digging. – Yep, that is pretty much how I felt.

  • To earn a living or manage in any respect with great difficulty. – Yeeeesssss.

  • To withdraw or be withdrawn from a contest or competition. Bingo! The only problem was, the contest was the game of life

So to simplify a very complicated matter, please allow me to share with you 7 steps I  personally used to rebuild my life from scratch. And I am talking about when everything fell apart, my life was completely broken and GONE as I knew it.


7 Steps to Build Your Life Again From Scratch

  1. S – See what assets you do have. Do you have breath, health, a somewhat sane mind? That is a start.

  2. C – Choose to rebuild – The most difficult part of rebuilding my life was that no one could do it for me. Others could support me in various ways, but ultimately I had to make that choice to rebuild.

  3. R – Risk having relationships. When you are down and out, the last thing you want to do is put out the effort to build relationships. People are how we heal. You will not heal in a vacuum. Reach out to someone who is trustworthy who can help you.  Risk letting down your walls even when it is so difficult to trust. Take a tiny step.

  4. A – Ask the right questions. Ask for advice. The right question is not “Why is this happening to me?” The right question is “What is one thing I can do to begin to rebuild my life?” or “Whom can I ask for advice who has been through this before?”

  5. T – Take responsibility for your future. Trust. Watch your Thoughts. Think about what you DO have and what you DO want. Try your best not to think about what you don’t have and what you don’t want.

  6. C – Cry. Let it out. When I went through my rebuilding process I lived near a lake that was in drought. I could not understand how that could be since I cried enough tears to fill it up multiple times. Give yourself room to cry like a baby …. because that is where you are right now…. starting a new life just like a baby.

  7. H – Happiness – Allow yourself to feel happiness. In the midst of your pain, give yourself permission to have moments of joy. Smile if you can’t laugh. And when something does make you smile, make your mind think about it for a moment. Don’t let it go so quickly. If you get a chance to laugh out loud, take it. Laughter is one of your greatest assets.

If you have been on this planet for any length of time, you have experienced a “Scratch” moment.

I found one more definition of the word scratch:


That is my personal favorite.

How do we start our life over from scratch? Draw a line in the sand and make a declaration. MY NEW LIFE BEGINS TODAY. NOW IS THE START OF MY NEW JOURNEY. THIS MOMENT IS MY STARTING PLACE. And even if you cry like a baby in the beginning of your new life, I promise that you will outgrow that stage. Life will get better. You will grow and be stronger.


After all … Everyone knows that things are better when they are made from scratch.


Would you like to learn to Show Up Well in life? First Impressions Matter.

Check out our First Impression Advantage training at

Feel awkward at Dining Events? We can help!